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Hector A. Pereles, Licensed Professional Counselor

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Is Your Office Located?

Currently I conduct therapy work through virtual or video (also known as telehealth) sessions. Over the past several years scientific studies, and therapists and clients worldwide including the United States of America, have attested to the effectiveness of the therapy approaches that I use when the same are delivered through telehealth. In other words, telehealth sessions can have the same treatment effect as in-person sessions.

How Does Payment for Therapy Work?
You come to counseling (a.k.a., therapy) and pay for services either 100% out-of-pocket (self-pay) or through your health insurance benefits if they include outpatient mental health and/or substance abuse benefits. Some insurance plans require a copayment due at the time of visit.

You may choose to not use your insurance to pay for services, as this provides certain advantages over using it. I can go over the details with you.

For example, insurance companies have several people looking at your information throughout your sessions: those who authorize payment, those who input data, others track your progress, print bills, others decide (without even meeting you personally) what services are authorized and what are not, and so on.
Not involving your insurance company means that your very personal information remains private and that I – the person who has met you and is directly working with you – get to decide which services are the most beneficial to you.

By using your health insurance, you are agreeing for people — who have never met you personally – to make decisions about your very own and personal treatment. Insurance companies also require a psychiatric diagnosis and can randomly stop paying for sessions due to a variety of reasons.

Despite What You Stated Above, Can I Still Use My Insurance to Pay for Therapy?
Yes, you can.

Currently, I accept the following health insurances: Ambetter, Cigna, Humana, MultiPlan, Optum, Oscar, United HealthCare, and UMR. If you choose to use any of them to pay for services, then you would be subject to their “rules,” which typically include deductible, co-payment, and co-insurance amounts. I can check insurance benefits and submit claims on your behalf.

Whether or not you decide to use insurance to pay for services, payment is due in advance or at the time of services.

What if You Do Not Accept My Insurance?
If I do not accept your health insurance, then I am considered to be an “out-of-network” provider with your insurance company. Some insurance plans allow you to use “out-of-network” providers, while some allow you to see only providers that are part of their contracted provider network (a.k.a., an “in-network” provider). Typically, you will need to contact your insurance company directly to inquire about your “out-of-network” benefits. I may be able to do it on your behalf – if you so authorize me.

If you contact your insurance company directly, first ask the company whether your plan allows you to see “out-of-network” providers for outpatient mental health and/or substance abuse therapy or counseling. If not allowed, then ask whether they make exceptions to this and how to go about obtaining approval.

If your insurance allows you to see “out-of-network” providers, then your insurance may reimburse you for part of the cost of services (usually a percentage of the cost). In that case, I can give you the statements – often called a Superbill – which you will then need to use to file an “out-of-network” reimbursement claim with your insurance.

What Else Should I Know from My Insurance Company?
Regardless of whether your health insurance company allows you to see “in-network” or “out-of-network” providers, or both, it may be a good idea to ask the company whether your insurance plan has a deductible amount for mental health and/or substance abuse therapy or counseling that must be met prior to the insurance helping you pay for services. This has the added benefit of helping you plan your finances for costs associated with therapy.
What Types of Payments Do You Accept?
I accept Zelle app cash transfers and credit or debit cards. I can store debit/credit card numbers securely on file so that you are not asked the same information at every visit. Another accepted form of payment for services is health savings plan accounts which some people use.
What Are Your Appointment Hours?
Currently, my office appointment time availability is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM (5:00 PM is the latest appointment time that may be scheduled) and some Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM (10:00 AM is the latest appointment time that may be scheduled).
How Long Are Your Sessions?
The initial session is typically 60 minutes long. Afterward, one individual therapy or counseling session is typically between 50-60 minutes long.
How Long Does Therapy Last?
A recommended approximate length of therapy (or number of sessions) depends on the issues you want to address, your participation, the therapy approach used, as well as other factors. While every person is different, some folks report improvement after completing 8-12 sessions. Also, for example, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) typically produces results at a much accelerated pace compared with other forms of therapy.
How Do I Set Up an Initial Appointment?
You may set up an appointment by contacting me directly via my mobile number (470) 239-0686; you may also email me at hector@newlivingcounseling.com

If you call and I am unable to answer, there is a chance that I am busy attending to other clients. In that case, feel free to record a voice message for me. The voice messages are strictly confidential, and I am the only person who has access to them, so don’t be shy.

To contact me via email, you may also visit the Contact page on this website. There you can create the message to be sent to me.

What Age Ranges Do You Work With?
I specialize in working with people ages 18 through 75.
Do You Work With Males? Females? Families? Couples?
I work individually with adults regardless of their gender. Currently I do not offer couples or family therapy.
Are You LGBT friendly?

We all deserve equal treatment regardless of sexual orientation. As a member of a ethnic and sexual minority group myself, I certainly understand and can relate to the challenges of minority groups.

What Do You Actually Do in Session With Clients?
This depends on the issues you want to address, your therapy goals, your participation, the therapy approach used, as well as other factors. I do not use a “one-size-fits-all” or “cookie cutter” approach to therapy. Every person who comes to therapy is different; therefore, I tailor my sessions accordingly.
Do You Assign Homework to Work on Between Sessions?
Yes, I may. Change will sometimes be easy and quick, but other times it will be slow and difficult. It will need repetition, and so you will need to keep trying and practicing. There are no instant, painless cures and no “magic pills” for changing well-learned habits.
What Therapy Approaches Do You Use in Working with Clients?
My approaches to counseling or therapy are Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Mindfulness-based approaches, exposure therapy, and Hypnosis.
What Is Your Professional Training and Experience?
I completed a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling degree at Argosy University, Atlanta campus. I have been practicing counseling (therapy) at the post-masters level in different settings since January 2010. In addition to this, I am a Certified Therapist in EMDR and a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist.
What Else Do I Need to Know to Make the Most Out of Working with You?
Counseling services are best provided in an atmosphere of trust. You expect me to be honest with you about your challenges and progress. I expect you to be honest with me about your expectations for services and any barriers to it.
What Are You Like?
Clients, friends, and colleagues have told me that I am humorous, friendly, confident, competent, and highly informative; I tend to agree with them. Some clients have even confused me with being a doctor which I wish I would’ve pursued, but I am not.

My partner and other people have said that I am sincere, humorous, imaginative, inventive, open-minded, clever, and passionate. I also keep my promises. I love sunny weather, nature, sports, music, movies, and traveling. My interests are not limited to this: I am confident that we can find something in common!

Do You Work with People of all Faiths (or lack thereof)?
Yes, I do. I will not try to convert you to one religion or another. If you are an atheist, that is fine with me as well. I will not browbeat you with a Bible. And, no, I do not do pastoral (religious) counseling. This is a specialized area that I am not qualified to perform.
Do You Talk About Politics in Counseling Sessions?
No, I do not. Politics is NOT my profession: psychology, counseling, and psychotherapy are. I have no need to discuss politics during therapy sessions or with clients: I do so outside the office with family and friends over coffee, and sometimes at my personal Facebook page.
If I Go to Therapy, Does It Mean That I Am “Crazy?”
Many of life’s challenges are NOT psychiatric disorders. A lot of folks seek therapy or counseling before their particular challenge(s) meets diagnosis criteria for a psychiatric disorder. These folks are being proactive about their mental health because it matters to them as much as physical health does. You should do the same! Human beings are both mind and body, and they affect each other mutually.
If I Go to Therapy, Will You Tell Me How to Live My Life?
Absolutely not! Family members or friends usually do that for free (tell me about it), so why pay a professional counselor to do the same? While certainly I have completed advanced training in psychology knowledge and developed skills that may help you get better, ultimately you are the expert on your own life.

I can help you uncover the answers that already lie within yourself in terms of how to live your life according to your own values, interests, personal goals, and so forth; this is much different from telling you how to live your life.

Furthermore, while I can help you solve your current life’s challenges, I will not solve them for you. Think of the proverb: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” I teach men, women, and adolescents to fish so that they may feed themselves, hopefully for a lifetime.